The midterm election cycle was rife with disappointment, as favorite candidates and brands on the right failed to live up to expectations and the Red Wave, that became a Red Tsunami going into November 8 turned into a Red Mirage or a Red Disappointment. Although every election is unique, there are several macro trends that are identifiable which engendered disappointment. For all the talk of money in politics and elections being bought and sold, there is a connection, but this is not to say money inherently buys the results. Nevertheless, money is required for the candidate to make it to election day.
Electoral shenanigans aside (and I am sure there were some), one glaring deficiency is the money in some of these senate races, where the US Senate Candidates lacked national GOP backing because they lacked the favor of Kingmaker Mitch McConnell. Cocaine Mitch did not fund his candidates, resulting in victories that were closer than they should have been and subsequent losses on the down ballot. Money Talks.
As a disclaimer, the figures come from OpenSecrets and reflects funding dated in October for several of the races. The Margin numbers come from NBC with several races marked “*” to indicate that they have not been officially called.
|Arizona||$ 79,361,007||$ 12,006,741||D*|
|Georgia||$ 98,654,186||$ 37,485,371||Runoff|
|Nevada||$ 52,861,721||$ 15,546,338||R +2.7 *|
|New Hampshire||$ 38,340,375||$ 2,243,796||D +9.9|
|North Carolina||$ 33,876,572||$ 12,483,874||R +3.6|
|Ohio||$ 47,300,863||$ 12,072,808||R +6.5|
|Pennsylvania||$ 56,690,623||$ 40,376,431||D +2.7|
|Wisconsin||$ 34,594,006||$ 31,562,985||R +1.2 *|
To the credit of Team GOP, or simply the financiers, both Ron Johnson and Herschel Walker were well funded going into election day against a heavily financed Democrat machine that spent large sums in all the aforementioned races, especially incumbents Raphael Warnock and Mark Kelly. Overall, despite notions of a red wave, the Democrats outspent the Republicans in both the House and Senate.
Against a heavily backed Mark Kelly, the ire of Mitch McConnell rears its head, with Blake Masters not even garnering 20% of his opponent’s cash in a race yet to be called. Arizona is probably the largest culprit of fraud in 2022, with the Secretary of State leading the efforts. Nevertheless, while Kari Lake is favored to pull through, Blake Masters appears less fortunate. As an aside, Voter ID was on the ballot and has performed in line with Lake.
Adam Laxalt was a career politician within a political dynasty, nationally backed by both Trump and DeSantis along with the entire machine, yet the chosen one meagerly outraised his senate hopeful peers. This is despite his political experience. Laxalt will probably be a middle of the road GOP senator, yet he should have raised more given his background. Republicans heavily emphasized Nevada, but the funding was absent. There is a down ballot implication House Districts 2 and 3 were competitive in this cycle as Sam Peters and April Becker were handily outspent in two blown opportunities.
In New Hampshire, while an underdog Donald Bolduc suffering defeat is unsurprising, the GOP should have given him some backing that might have made this seat otherwise more competitive. Being outspent 17:1, there was much ticket splitting with the governor’s race which might have been alleviated by more money being directed his way. If Democrats are willing to spend $72 million on Val Demings to get slaughtered by Marco Rubio (who had $46 million), then Team GOP can put up $12 million for Donald Bolduc. For all the talk of the Granite State being purple, it was unseen in 2022. Nevertheless, Live Free or Die is only a slogan, not a way of life.
Representative Ted Budd received his promotion from House to Senate, promoting the Congressional Freedom Caucus member to higher office. Still, he should have received more funding given the stakes. Being an incumbent, this made him a safe bet for a national party to finance, but an incumbent congressman being outspent $20 million is obscene, and it kept the race closer than it should have been. Moreover, the insufficient funding of Ted Budd had down ballot implications as the GOP lost races that could have been flips. Bo Hines was the chosen “MAGA bro” who had a slight funding disadvantage in Ted Budd’s former seat. Likewise, firebrand Sandy Smith failed to flip the 1st District with even funding. North Carolina is trending blue, and Team GOP did nothing to stop the bleeding.
Ohio is another upgrade with JD Vance advancing to the senate to replace the RINO Rob Portman. Due to his hard MAGA appeal and anti-establishment messaging, he was outspent nearly 4:1 by Rep. Tim Ryan in a state that is trending red. While there was no legitimate concern that Vance would lose, his margin was not domineering given the climate. Moreover, the lack of funding, just like North Carolina, had down ballot implications as candidates like JR Majewski, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, and incumbent Steve Chabot were defeated. Democrats outspent in all three down ballot races, flipping the incumbent in an upset.
Last but certainly not least: Pennsylvania. Mehmet Oz received $40 million and lost, outperforming in the Philadelphia suburbs at the expense of the rural Pennsylvania where he underperformed Donald Trump. This race received much attention as the unpopular liberal doctor was against an incoherent, stroked-out vegetable in Fetterman. Oz failed to defeat a human VAERS Report! That is on the quality of the candidate. No amount of money would have won this race. Donald Trump gave us Mehmet Oz, but Mitch McConnell and the GOP backed him heavily. No amount of rage against the Dems will make Mehmet Oz popular with the conservatives, and I stand by my calls for Christians to snub Oz, which they did.
There are many lessons and ailments being revealed as the results of the 2022 midterms are dissected via autopsy. Mitch McConnell is a cockroach. He is built to survive nuclear war and this cycle buttressed his power over the senate. He screwed over the GOP in these winnable races and on the down ballot, underfunding candidates while wasting money backing Lisa Murkowski and lost causes like Mehmet Oz. At large, America does not trust a GOP senate. Voters will never remove him from office. Only God can remove him.